The conduct of saints and the wicked is analogous to that of sandal-wood and the axe. The axe cuts down a sandal-tree, while the sandal-tree in its turn perfumes the axe by imparting its virtue (fragrance) to it. For this reason, sandal-wood (in the form of paste) finds its way to the heads of the gods (as tilak on the images of gods), and is loved by the world so much; while the axe has its metal edge heated in the fire and beaten with a hammer as punishment.
Saints have no hankering for the pleasures of the senses and are the very mines of amiability and other virtues. They grieve to see others in distress and rejoice at the sight of others' joy. They are even-minded and look upon none as their enemy. Free from vanity and passion, they are conquerors of greed, anger, joy and fear. Tender of heart and compassionate to the distressed, they cherish guileless devotion to the Lord in thought, word and deed. They never swerve from the control of their mind and senses, religious observances and correct behaviour and never utter a harsh word.
Now hear the characteristics of the impious - association with whom should be scrupulously avoided for their company ever brings woe, even as a wicked cow ruins by her company a cow of noble breed. The heart of the wicked suffers terrible agony, for they ever burn at the sight of others' prosperity. Wherever they hear others reviled, they feel delighted as though they had stumbled upon a treasure lying on the road. Devoted to sensuality, anger, arrogance and greed, they are merciless, deceitful, crooked and impure. They bear enmity towards all without rhyme or reason; they behave inimically even with those who are actively kind to them. They are false in their dealings (lying is their stock-in-trade). They speak honeyed words just like the peacock that has a stony heart and devours the most venomous snake.
Malevolent by nature, they enjoy other's wives and other's wealth and take delight in slander. Such vile and sinful men are demons in human garb. Devoted to their own selfish interests, they antagonise their kinsfolk, are given up to sensuality and greed and are most irascible. They recognise neither mother nor father, preceptor nor the Brahmans. Utterly ruined themselves, they bring ruin upon others. Overcome by infatuation they bear malice to others and have no love for communion with saints nor for the stories relating to Sri Hari. Oceans of vice, dull-witted, and lascivious, they revile the Vedas and usurp others' wealth. Though bearing malice to all, they are enemies of the Brahmans in particular and full of hypocrisy and deceit at heart, they outwardly wear a saintly appearance.
Such vile and wicked men are absent in the Satya and Treta Yugas. A sprinkling of them will appear in the Dwapara, while a multitude of them will crop forth in the Kali age.
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